Wednesday, September 1, 2010

courtiers promise much more than they do

Second Life,Adult,lucky chairs,weirdness,wtf

The chairs are being rude to me again!

Seen on Sexy Sadie:

Second Life,Adult,lucky chairs,weirdness,wtf

And no, that's not a typo--Sexy Sadie is an Adult sim, and Airhead Airlines seems to be designed for the sex-on-airplanes fantasies, completely with slightly dim, generally blonde, bimbo 'stewies' that more than one sense.

The only thing that gets me? Their plane is on the roof. This is SECOND LIFE, damn it--how hard is it to pop that thing up to 1000 meters and put some textures around it to imitate moving clouds? You could do anything with this concept. But no, it's grounded. The hell.

(Though a friend pointed out, when I ranted about this to her, that most guys who are sitting in first class with a stewardess kneeling between their legs, are NOT invested in what's happening outside the windows. And okay, I'll grant that...but it still seems odd to me.)

So I'm a little bummed--the last sim (being Sadie) that I was working on for the sidewalk project the owner's decided to sell, so had me stop work. So that means, of an original six-contract project, I completed three, because three of the six sims were sold off either as I was getting to them, before I got to them, or--in the case of Sadie--right as I got to them. Before people think I'm bashing, Ayesha doesn't have a lot of alternatives here, frankly; she has grandfathered sims and homesteads (which she has to keep) and so she's cutting where she can without jeopardizing her entire operation, and of the Adult sims she has, Sexy Sadie was nearly 90% untenanted.

I still like Solace Beach, don't mistake me--it's ideal for mainlanders who want better-looking land, for anyone who wants estates that look like natural land--with peaks and valleys, landscaping, sidewalks--other than most of her sims are built to an islander/pirate theme, it's much like Caledon, in that even the unsold parcels look lived-in. In Caledon (or Winterfell, or Steelhead, or any of the steampunk/neo-Victorian sims), you aren't buying a single square featureless parcel; you're buying into a community. And while on Solace Beach, the community comes and goes, at the least you're buying into nicely developed subdivisions, in your choice of island, woodlands/grass, winter pines, or gothic fantasy. (In fact, one of the sims least jeopardized by any sales decisions is Twilight Tears; I rented the last parcel to a lady who builds prefabs in her spare time, and one of Ayesha's EMs owns at least a third, if not fully half, of the rest of the sim--including the Autogenic Alchemy Parcel and Lady Disdain's shop space. Twilight Tears, though, is a light covenant [which means residential and business concerns can operate there, and I just got permission to pop up a haunted house] gothic-themed sim. So the grass is dark green, most of the trees are bare or have turning leaves, and I have a huge haunted treehouse as my shop now.)

It's a reasonably stable large estate chain, which, for the most part has a Covenant that includes themed structures--so there aren't a lot of scary full-on glow spinning houses that strobe pink and yellow, for instance. She wants a consistency of look within fairly wide guidelines, and for the part part, she gets it. And while the economy has everyone worried, Ayesha's holding to her principles (mainly, no parcel discounts that would drive her under what she pays to the Lindens for tier).

Where does this leave Solace Beach? Well, that's the problem: because most of the other big real estate firms (think other island chains here, not Des) are losing their minds entirely. F'rinstance: that fellow that wanted the homestead? Ended up going to another company because they'd charge him L$22,600 per month, not L$32,000.

L$30,000 per month is the staff price for whole homesteads (works out to L$7,500 per week); so she was really slicing to the bone on pricing to offer him the L$32,000 (which is L$8,000 per week; not that much more). Instead, sim chains around her are undercutting their own tier fees. This? Is the way to go bankrupt as a business.

In Linden news, there's a new Linden in town. She's from Blizzard, along with other MMORPG companies, by way of Electronic Arts. Her credentials seem sound, but there's that inevitable "Oh gods, not another clueless Pink clone..." And she didn't come in as an alphabet Linden, so yay for that.

But does this mean the Lindens are looking at SL transforming into World of SecondLifeCraft, or was she one of the employees who fled Blizzard because she didn't want her real name plastered on EVERY piece of public correspondence due to that wildly unpopular )and even more widely resented) RealID package?

All I'm hoping for, is that in trying to find the "X Factor" she speaks of so glowingly, we won't see any more "Be Blue! Be a cat-alien! Be an AVATAR!" ads for SL. Because, really--those were stupid, tacky, AND THEY VIOLATED COPYRIGHT, YOU IDIOTS.

In more Labs-related news, Emerald has called it quits. I'm having a hard time not cackling outrageously at the sheer tonnage of dramatic phrasing and melodramatic acting out on the part of Arabella Steadham, to the point that, upon filtering it through my brain, I realized that she was playing Gretchen this week, with maybe not quite so much willingness to throw everyone in front of the sportscar and run over them repeatedly. (Even if you don't watch Project Runway, or care to, that entry is PRICELESS, and funny whether you're a fan or not. Just replace Arabella Steadham for the tall and lanky fashion designer in most of the photos.)

In fact, really, ever since they announced this list of proposed changes to get them back 'into line' from the Lindens, I've wondered: are we ever going to see that list? They reference some items in this post, but Arabella also says--and I think notably:
We have decided that it will be safer for us to provide our list of requirements from LL as we achieve them. [...] Announcing the items we have not yet fulfilled may put our ability to fulfill them at risk and thus, put the project at risk. We will continue to provide you with our requirements as we achieve them.
Translated--to me, at least--this means:
  • We don't want to tell you what we're doing;
  • We'll tell you the requirements we've actually completed because it makes us look like we're in full compliance;
  • If we tell you what the requirements are and you freak out over any of them, then we'd lose all forward momentum and the project would tank.
Well. I suppose it doesn't matter at this point, because the Emerald team (after an internal hacking attempt and major developer discontentment) has--or at least seems to have--given up entirely, but--can we know what they were now?

Preferably in some form that actually looks like it was sent from Linden Labs and not just invented entire?

[Interesting update: literally as I was typing this out, a friend dropped Jessica Lyon's blog on me. There's not a lot there, but what there is, is fascinating.

[The entry explaining her resignation from Emerald, along with the full list of requirements as sent by Oz Linden, are both intriguing as hell. And there's nothing on that list, for once, that I find particularly damning on the Linden side of things; they seem eminently reasonably for anyone for anyone who's dealing with a group of programmers who have potentially committed a felony using code provided originally by the Lindens.

[What I find most fascinating, though, is her explanation of the "hostile takeover attempt" that Arabella mentioned--and to which I make reference, above. Basically, it seems like Linden Labs has said enough is quite enough--and that if the Emerald development team keeps Lonely Bluebird, Skills Hak and Discrete Dreamscape on the project, they'll block Emerald from accessing the grid.

[So let me see if I understand this, as it played out. Skills Hak (and I apologize to the noble family of Hax; I think I called zir Skill Hax in earlier entries) is a black hat hacker and known griefer; was at least involved with the Woodbury University group, and may be yet involved with alts still on the grid; and may or may not have been part of the Wrong Hands group (which, unfort, I'm still operating on presumption of, though Kalel Venkman has stated it's more of a fluid interchange of titles and group names, not independent, hard-and-fast groupings; they're process-skilled human-formed shell game generators, essentially). Lonely Bluebird aka Phox ModularSystems is also a black hat, potentially a griefer, and likely also involved in the same interchanging groups; and Discrete Dreamscape easily seems to be in the same boat.

[So this leaves us with what? Three hackers who have knowingly done bad things, to put it simply, who want to keep working to put out more drama, nonsense, and haxx0red fun in future versions of Emerald? Or as Phox put it on Jessica Lyon's blog, because
[1:00:14 PM] Phox: I believe emerald has a great chance of dying without me.
Seriously? The company who runs the virtual world you play in has said they don't trust you, but you want to help Emerald out. At this point the best way any of them can save this viewer they claim to love so much is to RUN THE HELL AWAY and make sure they are no LONGER connected to Emerald! How thick do you have to be not to get that?]

All of this still looks highly, highly fishy. Especially concerning this entry from the Emerald blog:
Because after that mention, barring the 'done' items list earlier, we never saw the entire list even once until Jessica Lyons quoted it on the first of September! How is that transparency?

That's not even translucency. That's just garden-variety opacity, and that's what people started objecting to when all this fooforaw started.

(By the way...just because it makes me giggle like a five-year-old, the title of this comes from an 18th-century bawdy song called My Thing is My Own. Here's an exceptional version by Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, which is why it makes me giggle. I mean, the contradiction, it causes brain spasms.)


Sphynx Soleil said...

The letters on Jessica's blog rather handily spills the beans and shows that Emerald was NOT removed from the TPV voluntarily, too. Despite their claims to the contrary. :)

Serenity said...

I can't help but laugh myself over the whole Emerald thing. I dunno why, maybe it's cause I never cared for it's bandwagon, knew this was coming. And even with the truth out there that they're obviously not THAT trustworthy, people are still blindly supporting them and damning LL. Not to say that LL is entirely innocent with whatever they do, but still. I just can't wait till it's goddam gone, and it never ceases to amuse me how people will protect ones they know nothing about.

Emilly Orr said...


Don't know if I ever blogged this point, but midway through all the amateur theatrics, it was made public that Emerald had been stripped from the TPV directory BEFORE Fractured Crystal stepped down.

So it was never just a change of CEOs. It was always multiple violations.

Which, for me, puts LL and banning in a different light--if there is never a single, discrete event, but rather, always a cumulative waveform to track observed behavior...well, then we're back to wondering why Ikaru Aichi, Hybrid Ansar and others were really banned.

With what I've been seeing--now that I'm paying attention--ONE violation earns a suspension. MULTIPLE violations earns a ban--or in the case of viewers, a block.

Emilly Orr said...

I'll be honest--I liked Emerald. Until it stopped working for me, it worked well, worked powerfully, and got me out of many a jam where other viewers didn't.

Then it stopped loading in inventory, and it became the big question: did I want to run fast (Emerald) or actually load in things (any other viewer? I tried virtually every (non-evil) viewer out there, and I gradually came down to three--CoolVL for when I wanted speedy processing; SnowGlobe when I wanted inventory access; Emerald when I wanted the toys.

Occurred to me, LONG before all this broke, that I was only using Emerald because of the nifty gadgets. That wasn't a good reason to use the viewer, because--for me--it had stopped doing anything else substantial.